Lamp Ideas

Shed some light on your home with these bright creations.
Julie Feagin Sandner

Want to bring a little shine into your home? Take a look around, and you just might find something fun that could be made into a lamp. Senior Photo Stylist Cindy Manning Barr came up with these interesting ideas. Let them inspire you. First, find a lamp store or a repair shop in your area that can turn your prized possession into a treasured base. Prices may vary a bit, but labor and parts usually run about $50. Lampshades can cost anywhere from $10 to $300 each, depending on the material you choose.

Memorable Shoes
Family heirlooms give a personal touch to your interiors. Antique shoes can be attached to a richly stained wood base that is paired with a cream paper shade.

Teatime
Stack three teacups and saucers together for a fun accent in a kitchen or breakfast room. Vary the colors of the cups to coordinate with your home's decor, or use the same pattern for a monochromatic look.

Simple Transformation
A silver vase that was once hidden in a closet can take center stage in a dining room. Look for items you don't use frequently, and free up some closet space at the same time.

Feeding Time
An old chicken feeder can serve as a great lamp with no base required. A simple paper shade pairs well with a feeder's rustic style.

Base or No Base?
A base gives the lamp a polished look, but keep in mind that it's often not included in parts and labor; bases usually run an additional $20 and up. Adding one is good for fragile items or ones where a rod would be difficult to mount. It helps add stability to the lamp.

Ship Ahoy
Docked in a wooden base, a lamp can be the perfect accent in a child's bedroom. The rod is attached to the base, leaving the sailboat untouched. An octagonal linen shade is in perfect proportion with the lamp.

Architectural Elements 
A terra-cotta column makes an elegant lamp. The maker drilled down the center with a diamond-core bit. When dealing with fragile materials such as terra-cotta, take the pieces to an experienced craftsperson. The wood base is stained to complement the column, and a simple paper shade tops it all off.

Made With the Shade
A shade will determine the overall look of the piece and often costs more than the lamp itself. Paper shades are less expensive, but some shops offer hand-painted ones that are pricier.  Give your shade a custom look by stenciling a design on it or adding trim with a glue gun. Silk shades lend a dressier style and can be costly. Linen shades also give a classic look. Make sure the lampshade is in proportion to the base.